CAT-MBA Frequently Asked Questions

To help you guide your entrance preparation journey to a top B-school, we have created FAQs categorized as per your preparation phases. These questions are a compilation of queries answered by CL gurus including GP & Team. Visit through the same and get your common queries resolved.

CAT and eligibility criteria

What is CAT?

Common Admission Test or CAT, as commonly called, is a joined entrance exam conducted by IIMs for admission into their management courses. As per their policy of rotation every year, the exam is conducted by some different IIM. The CAT scores are accepted by IIMs and other B-School PAN-India, such as FMS-Delhi, SP Jain, JBIMS, IITs, and NITIE etc.
The CAT is a 3 hour, online test. CAT ’16 was held in December and the paper comprised of three sections:
• Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC): 34 questions; 60 minutes
• Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DII-LR): 32 questions; 60 minutes
• Quantitative ability (QA) : 34 questions; 60 minutes

What is the CAT eligibility criteria?

As per the CAT eligibility criteria, any candidate applying for CAT must have completed or would be appearing for Bachelor's degree, final year examination with minimum of 50% aggregate. The degree should be granted by any university incorporated or declared to be deemed under Section 3 of the UGC Act 1956 or an equivalent qualification recognized by Ministry of HRD, Government of India.

What is the CAT eligibility criteria for reserved categories?

CAT eligibility for reserved categories as decided by IIMs is as follows: a) 15% of seats are kept reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC);
b) 7.5% of seats are kept reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST);
c) 27% of seats are kept reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBC);
d) 3% of seats are kept reserved for Persons with Disability (PWD). The categories of disability include:
a) low vision blindness,
b) hearing impairment,
c) loco motor disability/cerebral palsy.
Any candidate who wishes to apply for this category will be eligible if only he/she suffers from any listed disabilities to the extent of less than 40%, as certified by a medical authority.

What is the CAT Fee structure?

From past 3 years CAT exam fee for general category is 1700Rs and that for reserved categories is 850Rs. The CAT application procedure is online. 

Other MBA entrance exams

What are the other MBA entrance exams?

There are numerous entrance exams conducted by B-Schools for admission into their management courses. a). CAT is conducted by the IIMs and is accepted by the B-Schools pan-India. b). XAT is conducted by XLRI for admission into its several management institutes all over India and other b-schools aswell. c). IIFT conducts its own admission test-IIFT for admission into its management course d). NMAT is conducted for admission into NMIMS and associated branches. e). SNAP is conducted for admission into 15 Symbiosis institutes. f). MH-CET is the MBA entrance test for institutes in Maharashtra g). TISS-NET is conducted for admission into Tata Institute of Social Studies for its mangement courses. CMAT, MAT are some of the other MBA entrance exams conducted for admission into various B-Schools pan-India.

What is GMAT?

GMAT is a computer based adaptive test accepted by more than 6,000 business and management programs worldwide.

Which Indian institutes accept GMAT score?

ISB Hyderabad & Mohali, S.P. Jain (global MBA), all IIMS (e-MBA), XLRI (GMP), NITIE, MDI, TAPMI, ICFAI (Hyderabad campus), Great Lakes (Chennai), IMT Ghaziabad and many others are Indian B-Schools that accept GMAT score.

Which MBA entrance exams have GK Section?

XAT, IIFT, SNAP, TISSNET,CMAT, MAT are the MBA entrance exams which have GK section.

MBA vs. PGDM and B-Schools

What is the difference between MBA and PGDM?

PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management and is awarded by the autonomous bodies (not affiliated with a University) that conduct management courses.
MBA degree or Masters of Business Administration degree is granted only by a University.
Main points of difference:
-PGDM is more Industry oriented than MBA.
-MBA gets universal recognition, while PGDM diploma has to be backed by AICTE for recognition and may not hold a strong recognition in the global landscape.
-Top B-Schools in India offer PGDM such as IIMs, XLRI, NITIE, MDI etc.
One can opt for either as both are recognized in India. Placement opportunities in India are very high for both as long as they are backed by a good institute name.

What are my chances of getting into a decent B-school?

IIM A, B, C followed by FMS, XLRI (Jamshedpur), JBIMS, ISB are amongst the top B-Schools in India. As about the selection, different institutes have different weightage and selection process. Know more about which IIM is likely to select you through IIM Profilizer. As per CAT'16, the lowest call from IIM-Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kozhikode was at 89%ile.

What is the benfit of working for sometime before pursuing MBA?

Certain people would jump into an MBA program as soon as they graduate if given that choice. However, an understanding of the corporate realities can come only with extensive experience and it helps you harness your MBA to its maximum potential.

Tools to help you prepare

Why join CL CAT-MBA coaching classes?

The benefit of a classroom program is that it enhances your learning when the brightest, aspiring minds of the country come together in a classroom to pursue their MBA dream.

What are the different modes of preparation provided by CL?

While preparing for an exam, an aspirant can choose from any of the following modes of preparation: Classes at the centres, online classes, self study through correspondance. CL is present in each dimension to help aspirants ace the exam. CL's offline classrooms: 'MBA Classic' are comprehensive classroom learnings at your nerest CL centre. 'Night Classes' are the online classes to help provide classroom-like expreience to aspirants who cannot attend the classes at the centres or dont have time during the day. Recoreded sessions are also available for each class. For those who have chosen self-study mode, CL provides updated and revamped study material. Test Series and Test Gym are also available to help you get sufficient practice and analysis for each test that you take.

How is Smart CAT Cracker more convenient?

Smart CAT Cracker delivers the entire program at your doorstep, into the device of your choice, and also brings the senior most faculties of CL (and of aptitude testing) to you. This will be you personalized CAT preparation program in the comfort of your home.

Why should one opt for Smart CAT Cracker?

Smart CAT Cracker is a tool to help a student learn smarter and unconvential problem solving techniques. The tool is most ideal for the ones who have the class 6-10 fundamentals clear and are comfortable and able to score well in level easy to medium difficulty level tests. Therefore, to add an edge to your preparation you can opt for Smart CAT Cracker.

What are Online Classes? Whom is it most suitable for?

CAT Online Classes are live, online, interactive classes for CAT and other MBA entrance exam preparation. The online classes can be attended live by the student from the comfort of his home or any convenient place. CAT Online Classes offers two programs: CAT Day Classes and CAT Night Classes.
CAT Night Classes are ideal for aspirants who've scored 80+ in Class 10 Maths of CBSE, ICSE or any other board (70+ in case of State boards of West Bengal, Bihar and North East) .

What is Test Series?

Test Series is a pack of 30 CAT and 35 Non CAT Mocks. The students can access these mocks in the SIS and also avail the in-depth analysis for each mock. The mocks are besed on the latest exam pattern and difficulty level.

What is Test Gym?

Test Gym is a compilation of Test Gym Lite(Topic Tests) and Test Gym Classic ( Sectional Tests). The tests are spread across three levels of difficulty easy--> advcance---> expert. The Test Gym can be accessed in the SIS, the online portal for students.

What are The key features of IIM Profilizer?

The key features of IIM Profilizer are as follows: a) Encompasses all factors such as academic diversity, gender diversity and different categories. 2) Analysis of all the IIMs and their shortlisting criteria based on the latest 2016 data. 3) Odeling of relative State Board difficulty levels to simulate normalization of X/XII marks. 4) Validated against thousands of 2016 IIM call getters. Over 3300 students have used it to generate their IIM Profilizer report in few months.

What does CL's CAT Score Booster do?

 CL’s CAT Score Booster is a tool that helps the student to understand their strengths and areas of improvement after each mock, CAT Score Booster analysis will help students to understand the risky attempts, good attempts and the questions that should not have been attempted.

Queries Regarding Quant

How do I ensure a good percentile in Quant?

Its daily practice and revision from time to time that would help you ace the quant section. An in depth understanding of the exam pattern and the weightage of each topic, to know which topics are more important. For CAT Algebra+ Arithmetic+ Numbers/Geometry is an ideal combination to help score a 99%ile in quant

Queries regarding DI-LR

How to ensure a good percentile in DI-LR

The key to solving DI-LR section lies in picking up the right kind of sets to answer. Choose the sets that you are comfortable with. Over the past few years DI sets are becoming more logical in nature, also one need not attempt all the sets. 12 net correct answers in DI-LR of CAT'16 led to a 95%ile. Daily practice would ensure that you are comfortable with most topics and would help boost accuracy and speed.

Queries Regarding Verbal

Any tips for solving RC passages?

The key to solving RC passages is within the passage. RC questions do not require any additional knowledge or context, all the answers are within those 3-4 paragraphs of the RCs and while answering the questions you should stick with the given information only.

Preparation Strategy

What would be the best approach to crack CAT 2018?

The best approach to crack CAT lies in taking as many practice tests as possible. Revise the basics first and then proceed to topic tests and mocks. Analysis of each mock is as important as taking a mock. After each test, take time to analyse your performance and figure out areas of improvement. Daily practice and revision across the different sections will ensure success in the exam.

How to manage the art of balancing your job and MBA preparation?

We have an option where you can access mentoring, guidance and problem solving at a time suitable for you and from the comfort of your room. The secret formula could be - CAT'17 Night Classes.

How does a faculty guided classroom program help me?

The personalized attention that a classroom program offers is unmatchable. Rub shoulders with equally hardworking MBA aspirants. Feed on their drive and passion and get motivated.If you believe you require a constant guidance - classroom is the program for you.

Which is better; online coaching or classroom?

While the classroom programs entail a larger view of each topic, with a more detailed approach on the basics, a credible online programs helps you understand the basics and develop an extra edge with smarter techniques to solve the problems.

What is the best way to learn CAT concepts?

We believe that the best way to learn the CAT related funda is to travel from questions to the funda and not spend too many hours learning all the theory first. Excessive theory tends to scare/confuse most of us but when we can see the application of theory in a question it is easy to understand.

Should I finish my syllabus before taking the mocks?

One should not wait for the syllabus to finish to start taking mocks. It is very important to understand and get comfortable with the type of questions asked, therefor, the ideal approach should be start taking mocks right away.

I am not an engineer. How do I crack CAT?

CAT exam is all about your class 6 to 10 fundamentals, therefore an engineering or a non-engineering background shouldn't be a problem. You need to revise your school time concepts and take as many practice tests as possible. As per the CAT’16 statistics 1.2 lakh out of 1.95 lakh test takers were from non-engineering backround.

Why should I take CAT mocks?

CAT mocks help you develop a strategy for the real exam. This should be enough reason for you to begin taking CAT mocks write away!

Why is it important to revise the mock papers?

Revision is the key to higher speed and accuracy and hence should be done at least once a week for all the important MCQs that you have identified in CAT mocks in Fundabooks, in Test Gym, in Sectional Tests and in past CAT papers. It is okay to cut down on Mock CATs but not revising is unacceptable.

Final Phase (B-schools - Query & Comparison)

What are the career options after MBA or PGDM?

MBA or PGDM offers numerous career options in the fields of Marketing, Finance, Consultancy, Operations, Human Resource, Internation Business, Retail Management, Agri-Business Management etc. These are the main stream options. However,all the doors remain open. Examples of successful personalities who chose their own paths are Raghuram Rajan, Amish Tripathi, Harsha Bhogle, Malli Mastan Babu.

How do I select an institute for full-time MBA or PGDM program?

Various parameters that need to be kept in mind while selecting an institute for MBA or PGDM program are: a). ROI b). Faculty c). Location d). Industry interface e). Past placement records f). Accreditation of the institutes

Why do B-schools give special emphasis to Group Discussions?

The essence of being a good manager is dependent on the leadership qualities and the ability to align with the team to produce a collective result. Many B-schools give special emphasis to Group Discussions (GDs) only to determine how candidates behave, communicate, and exhibit team spirit while aligning the group towards a particular direction.

On what basis do the B-schools select candidates?

Personal Interview, Group Discussion and Written Ability Test are the tools which B-schools prefer, to assess and analyze students verbal communication, analytical thinking pattern, and creative writing skills. One must wisely utilize the power of preparation programs such as the Personality Development Program (PDP) to improve his/her chances of getting selected.

What specialization should I take?

While choosing your specialization you need to consider parameters such as your interests and capabilities and also the resources offered by the institute. Marketing, Human Resource, Operations, Finance, International Business are some of the specializations offered by majority of the B-Schools.

How do I prepare for stage 2 (GD/PI/WAT) ?

Getting a good percentile does not ensure your selection in the desired B-School. Performing really well in the stage 2 ie., in the GD/PI/WAT round is what ensures that you get selected in your desired B-School. CL's Personality Development Program (PDP) is available in different variants to help students ace the stage 2 of the selection process. A student gets numerous sessions on personality grooming, PI sessions and GD/WAT sessions. One-on-one interaction with the mentors, goal tracker and 360 degree feedback are the highlights of the PDP, to help guide the students towards their dream College.

Which colleges can I target between 75-80%ile?

The colleges that one can target between 75 to 80 percentile are: Welingkar Institute of Management, IMT Nagpur, IBS Business School, Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication (SIMC), Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management (SITM), NMIMS Bangalore & Hyderaad, Benett University etc.